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Planned Parenthood Drops Out of US Program

Organization objects to abortion prohibition, will forfeit aid
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 19, 2019 4:08 PM CDT
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Abortion protesters attempt to hand out literature at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Indianapolis. The group is leaving a federal family funding program.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

(Newser) – Planned Parenthood says it's pulling out of the federal family planning program rather than abide by a new Trump administration rule prohibiting participants from referring patients for abortions. Planned Parenthood's acting president and CEO says the organization's nationwide network of health centers will remain open and strive to make up for the loss of federal money, the AP reports. But Alexis McGill Johnson predicts that many low-income women who rely on Planned Parenthood services will "delay or go without care." About 4 million women are served nationwide under the Title X program, which distributes $260 million in grants to clinics. A federal appeals court is weighing a lawsuit to overturn the rule but has allowed the administration to begin enforcement.

The organization will lose millions of dollars in funding, per CBS. "We will not be bullied into withholding abortion information from our patients," said McGill Johnson. "Our patients deserve to make their own health care decisions, not to be forced to have Donald Trump or Mike Pence make those decisions for them." Responding with its own statement, the federal Department of Health and Human Services said that Planned Parenthood affiliates knew months ago about the new restrictions and suggested that the group could have chosen at that point to exit the program. "Some grantees are now blaming the government for their own actions—having chosen to accept the grant while failing to comply with the regulations that accompany it—and they are abandoning their obligations to serve patients under the program," the department said.

(Read more Planned Parenthood stories.)

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